Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pajama Party

Two years ago, Santa stopped by our house on the 23rd of December, leaving a note and a new pair of pajamas for each of our girls.  We parents may have forgotten this happened, but our girls have not. And they reminded us that if they got in the bathtub, Santa would probably stop by, as a special treat just for them.  

I was skeptical, but not too long after they got into the bathtub, we all heard the jingling of bells.  John jumped up and raced for the door, but he was too late to see anything but a flash of red.

"Man, he sure moves fast for a fat man."  That's John's traditional line, and it gets repeated over and over as the girls retell the story.
Santa may have worked smoothly, but getting a picture of all of the ladies in their new jammies was anything but.  I am resigning myself to at least 25% of the participants in our family photos being uncooperative.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


You know, anytime I think I'm going to get all fancy with Christmas cards, I am struck by the humility stick in the form of uncooperative children.  My vision this year was a sort of modified photobooth layout with each person in our family holding a word from the phrase "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."  Six words.  Six people.  Great idea.  
And then I tried to implement my vision.  

Here's where I gave up.  And if you think I gave up too soon (since I had gotten the obvious hard portion of the task out of the way with my three youngest members of the family), you'd be someone who has never tried to get a natural expression out of my oldest daughter or my husband.  Maybe I'll try again next year.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Silent Night

Or maybe not-so-silent night, depending on your perspective.  For Christmas Eve, we had two families of friends over to join us in a delicious meal (thank you, Bonnie and Angela) and delightful program.  We had purple shepherds, carefully guarding their sheep.
We had emphatic angels (Mimi had Chloe practicing her stance and wording for weeks.  I hope Chloe wasn't overwhelmed by the bossiness.)
We had an obviously attentive Joseph.
And we had a very sincere Mary.  For weeks leading up to the program, we practiced tying and retying her headscarf--everything had to be just right.
There was a little nose picking. . . (love it!)
. . . and loads of happy smiles.
After our friends left, we sang some nativity songs, dealt with a code brown (really Maddie?  Poop on the floor on Christmas Eve?  That seems to be in poor taste.), and as John and I were cleaning up, Olivia organized a Santa letter-writing campaign.  (These are pre-gift thank you notes-- she's gracious and non-traditional that way.)
We love him because he is nice.

Mimi was a little disappointed that we left out our gingerbread houses along with the cookies we decorated thanks to Bonnie.
We also love Santa for being good (which is obviously distinct from being nice.)  Blogger thinks this picture should be oriented this way.
And Mimi's enthusiasm knows no bounds.  Man, I love that girl.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lucky Number Seven!

We started Naomi's birthday with an idea I found somewhere on the blogosphere, running through the crepe paper barrier.

She loved it.  (Please ignore the honest pictures of the messy room.)

My sister Annie joined us for polka-dotted presents and hamburgers, Naomi's favorite.
We followed up with a teeny-tiny party.  This is quite possibly the easiest birthday party theme on the planet.  Make teeny tiny food, turn traditional party games (bingo, pin the tail on the donkey, don't eat pete, treasure hunt, bowling, etc.) into their teeny-tiny counterparts, and send out teeny tiny invitations.  Perfect. 

 I used the three ounce cups from Wal-Mart and cut regular straws into teeny-tiny straws.  Buying mini vanilla wafers and mini Chips Ahoy cookies saved me tons of time, and the kids loved it.
 I wish I had taken video of ten kids (including five boys) in my teeny-tiny house for the two hours of the party.  I laughed nearly constantly over the chaos.  I always thought I'd be a boy mom, but it turns out I have forgotten how crazy boy parties can be.  Whew!

So, Happy Birthday, my favorite second child.  I can't believe you've grown from this. . .
. . .to this. . .

. . . to this. . .

. . . to this . . .
. . . to this.